Preview: Dundalk vs. Shamrock Rovers

Preview: Dundalk vs. Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers will be bidding to strengthen their grip on first position in the League of Ireland Premier Division table when they travel to Dundalk on Friday night.

The visitors are currently first in the division, seven points clear of second-placed Derry City, while Dundalk occupy fourth position, 10 points behind their opponents in this particular contest.

Dundalk are 14-time winners of the League of Ireland Premier Division, with their last success coming in 2019, but they finished third in the table last season, 13 points behind the champions Shamrock.

The Lilywhites are currently fourth in the table, boasting 36 points from their 23 league matches courtesy of a record of 10 wins, six draws and seven defeats.

Dundalk are three points behind second-placed Derry and 10 behind the leaders Shamrock, so a victory here is required if they have any serious title ambitions this season.

Stephen O’Donnell’s side will enter this match in excellent form, having picked up 10 points from their last four matches, beating University College Dublin, Cork City and Drogheda United before drawing 1-1 with St Patrick’s Athletic last time out.

Dundalk have been relatively strong at home this season, picking up 19 points from 11 matches, but they will be taking on a Shamrock side that have gathered 22 points from their 11 games on their travels.

Shamrock will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 victory over Derry on Monday evening, which stretched their unbeaten run in the League of Ireland Premier Division to five matches.

The Hoops have picked up 13 points from their last five games to move onto 46 points in the table, seven clear of second-placed Derry on the same number of matches (23).

Shamrock have won the top division on 20 previous occasions, which is a record, including in each of the last three seasons, and it does appear that they will take some stopping this term.

Stephen Bradley’s side have only been victorious in one of their last three league away games, though, and they lost at Cork at the end of May, which should hand Dundalk some confidence.

Shamrock have won their last three top-flight matches against Dundalk, meanwhile, including a 2-0 victory in their last meeting at the start of June.

Dundalk League of Ireland Premier form:

Shamrock Rovers League of Ireland Premier form:

We say: Dundalk 1-2 Shamrock Rovers
This has all the makings of a very interesting match, and we are expecting a close contest. Dundalk are more than capable of picking up a positive result, but we are backing Shamrock to strengthen their grip on first position in the table by securing a narrow win

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